Cultivating God’s Shalom in the Aftermath of the Easter Terrorist Attacks in Sri Lanka
The IGSL Peace Studies program seeks to help people build, make, and sustain God’s peace. After the Easter terrorist attacks in Colombo, Sri Lanka this year, two participants of the IGSL Peace Studies have been active in preparing their communities to respond in a healing way. One of them is Dr. Mano Emmanuel, the first PhD graduate of the Peace Studies program and Academic Dean of Colombo Theological Seminary (CTS), who has been part of the following efforts:
- Helping prepare CTS through a devotional using the account in Genesis 4 of Cain and Abel and how hatred can arise out of a misplaced sense of identity (courtesy of Miroslav Volf)
- A team visiting two refugee camps in Negombo. Ahmadiyya Muslim refugees from Pakistan persecuted for being “not Muslim enough” in their country were threatened and attacked by their neighbors in retaliation for the bombings. They are being sheltered in makeshift camps.
- A new committee for reconciliation organized by their church to foster greater inter-community harmony.
- Writing an article in Back to the Bible’s magazine on racism.
- CTS’s sending of a trauma healing teacher to Batticaloa where Zion Church was bombed. The seminary is also collecting funds to help affected families there who have a CTS connection.
- A one-day seminar equipping laypeople to recognize the effects of trauma and to be available to the church and neighbors.
In the midst of the pain and shock, some steps toward healing have been made. It was indeed helpful to have in place learned and engaged agents of God’s Shalom who aware of what the proper responses are.
Dr. Mano Emmanuel graduated in 2017 with a dissertation on Understanding Reconciliation in the Honor-Shame Context of Sri Lanka.